The Pond by Nicola Davies is—in hindsight—the book I wish I’d found immediately after my brother died suddenly in February 2001. But even if it had existed then, I probably wouldn’t have found it, because it’s a children’s picture book, and I was an adult without children at the time.
Hear what happened when I looked closely at poems with a handful of middle grade elementary teachers and facilitated a discussion about the use of dialogue in one.
I suspect my undergraduate writing students will have no difficulty recognizing at least one craft strategy in my recently published essay, “Reckoning.” I teach it early and often.
Perhaps it’s my trademark.
I’m talking about white space. I like to use it around a single short line to make the line stand out and demand attention. It’s a strategic move that stuck with me after several semesters of poetry in college, even as I migrated to prose. To be clear, I’m not talking about dialogue, which might look set off by white space because of grammar conventions. I’m talking about an original line of my thoughts that I deliberately place by itself.
I know your eyes go there.